DETROIT -- Long before Robin Ventura even knew he wanted to manage, Chicago White Sox GM Ken Williams had written down his name as a possible candidate, among other names, in a folder that Williams updates and maintains.
Ventura is understated and even-tempered and cannot be any more different from the old-school Earl Weaver/Billy Martin/Ozzie Guillen model of what a manager should be: fiery, demonstrative, the loudest and most aggressive guy in the room. But Williams had thought that in Ventura's playing days, he had a natural leadership quality, because he was someone who other players trusted and relied on.
Williams also remembered how he had informally quizzed a doctor who specialized in giving personality assessments -- something like the test that's given to prospective NFL draftees -- and Williams had asked who had most impressed him, among all the people the doctor had spoken to through the years. The answer: Robin Ventura.